Comic Book Review: Invincible Iron Man #4
If there was one criticism I had about Invincible Iron Man before the relaunch, it had to be the imbalance of plot priorities because of Civil War II. There were things set up during that time that were left too open-ended. But for right now it can be overlooked for the way Bendis has come back to those loose ends. You want to challenge Riri taking up his mantle, and what better way than to deal with the laundry list he left of criminals looking to destroy his legacy?
The team-up between Riri and Pepper is a dream come true. These two are the strongest of the Iron Man legacy and really challenge what women are capable of in the world of technology and advancements. I think their personalities matched very well. Riri on one hand has this sense of wonder with excitement pointed at everything new. Then you have Pepper on the other hand who is as she always is, straight business. It was almost like what you would see if that were Tony and Pepper, though Bendis takes this opportunity to show the part of Riri that is still figuring things out. Even better, this was perfect timing for those who question how formidable Pepper is to see her in action. That is something we don’t get enough of in the Iron Man books and I appreciate Bendis for not forgetting that someone this fierce can’t simply fall to the background.
The action here was smart. It isn’t simply about overpowering or the dumb luck that most young heroes will have at the. We’ve already seen what Bendis puts his heroes through like he did with Miles in Ultimate Spider-Man, so it was no surprise the odds that would be stacked against Riri and Pepper. I loved that for Pepper this was a physical challenge. As important as the armor is, that means nothing if the person inside isn’t prepared. Meaning being able to fight with your own bare hands. Then for Riri this was one of those moments which highlights her ability to think on her feet. You look for those key things that separate everyone who wears a suit and that is what she has which makes her different from the others.
Of that laundry list of villains, it only made sense that Tomoe the “Techno Golem” would be first of those villains to become a problem again. She is one of those villains who you really have to think outside the box to go up against. I mean how do you face someone who can simply snatch the suit off your body? And that’s just part of the danger she brings with her when there is also an army of techno ninjas to back her up.
Stefano Caselli and Marte Garcia continue to bring high intensity to the world of Iron Man. If there’s one thing I appreciate about this book, it is that they don’t slow down unless necessary. First off what appeals to me the most is that Caelli isn’t an artist who exaggerates body movements. Everything comes fairly naturally for Riri and Pepper when they spring into action which is how it should always be. The way Riri in particular acts, you can see the inexperience in the way she moves. Second guessing and less finesse in comparison to Pepper who shows clear experience in the way she handles herself fighting numerous armed ninjas and a large suit of armor. It wasn’t as if she was overpowering them, but you could see that for her the best offense is a good defense. Though most importantly I liked the way she held herself as someone who knows how to speak without using snark as a distraction. The contrast from how Tony handles himself is definitely there when she again takes things more seriously. For this issue I’m admiring Garcia’s colors more and more along the lines of the applications of reds and blues. It’s weird, but I love the city view. Garcia renders them so well and somehow even creates depths through a strong gradient of blues. The strong colors in general really just makes everything pop in a way that you can appreciate every bit of the hacking, slashing, and blasting.
Invincible Iron Man #4 is another exciting issue that once again teaches Riri that what she has gotten herself into is no walk in the park. Being Tony Stark is not easy, so the same can’t be said for Riri when she is practically picking up from where he left off. Most might try to create new villains and what not on the spot, though I will give Bendis credit that this is a villain he thought ahead of time to introduce and reintroduce when the time was right.